Chennai: A dilapidated foundation stone next to Government Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine on Anna Main Road at Ashok Nagar in the city shows the connect with DMK leader M Karunanidhi, who passed away recently.
It was during his first tenure as Chief Minister that the Tamilnadu Housing Board started to develop the area in the 1970s by allotting artisan plots and constructing flats for middle-income group.
As a gesture of thanksgiving, the area was named after him as Kalaignar Karunanidhi Nagar and it was shortened to K K Nagar.
According to long-time residents, K K Nagar was fondly called the first ‘Samathuvapuram’ in the State, where all sections of people lived together.
In the 1970s, K K Nagar was full of trees with large swamp lands. It was an unused land. As the city was witnessing a rise in population, the TNHB selected this area to construct houses, they said.
There are 15 sectors with 102 streets. The area has now undergone a massive transformation, where most of the housing board flats gave way to new ones.
The bus terminus became a vital link for commuters to K K Nagar. The locality started to develop as it became connected to various parts of the city.
As an interesting tale, residents recall with amusement that everytime the DMK came to power, the destination boards on buses would read as ‘Kalaignar Karunanidhi Nagar’ and once the AIADMK came to power, it would be back to ‘K K Nagar’.
Now K K Nagar is a residential and commercial hub. It has many famous temples and Sivan Park, which even boats of a skating rink, is a beehive of activity in the morning and evening.